Thursday, February 18, 2016

Meal Planning Made Easy

Preparing a home cooked dinner every night of the week has always been something I have struggled with. My tendency was always to start trying to figure out what to eat at about 5 only to realize that I don't have the ingredients I need or the regular occurrence of the meat being frozen in the freezer.

Since I've been down to only working part time my excuses to not have dinner ready are running pretty thin. To help me keep organized and make sure I always have the ingredients I need on hand for the recipe I want to use I started using my self designed "meal planning system".

If that sounds overwhelming to you don't worry it is not! It's so simple and you probably already have 50% of what you need to do it. The 2 apps I use when meal planning are: Pinterest (duh) and Pepper Plate.  If you don't have these apps they are free so go ahead a download them ;)

For a long time I've used Pinterest as a great resource to find recipes, but just recently I've changed the way I catalog recipes that makes me feel so much more organized. Recipes will be filed on 3 different boards.

1) Recipes I Want To Try:

Follow Addie's board {Recipes To Try} on Pinterest.

This is the board where I collect any recipe that I think I may be interested in making for dinner at some point in the future. I'm not super selective at this point so if I see something that sounds good I'll pin it to this board and do more research on it later.

2) Weekly Meal Planning

 Follow Addie's board {Weekly Meal planning} on Pinterest.
 This second board has been the greatest asset to keeping my meal plans and recipes organized. When I'm getting ready to make my shopping list for the week I move pins from my board "Recipes To Try" to my board "Weekly Meal Planning".  These are the meals that I will be preparing this week. As soon as I move them to "Weekly Meal Planning" I add all the ingredients I need to my shopping list to ensure I'll be completely prepared when I go to make this specific meal. If I am planning on making something in a week that I don't need a pinterest recipe for (i.e spaghetti, lasagna, etc) I will either find a pin to represent that meal or just add it on my planner calendar in the Pepper Plate App which I will talk about later. After grocery shopping for the week I should have all the ingredients needed to make everything in the "weekly meal planning" board.

3) Meals I've Made - 2016

Follow Addie's board {Meals I've made- 2016} on Pinterest.

After I have made a meal I move the pin from "Weekly Meal Planning" to "Meals I've Made- 2016". I use this and similar boards ("Meals I've Made-2014" and "Meals I've Made-2015") to keep track of the pinterest recipes I have tried in the past. So when thinking about what meals to make I will look for new recipes, but also go back to these boards and pick out some tried and true recipes I know Seth and I already enjoy.

I also utilize the App PepperPlate for my meal planning needs. I use 2 parts of the PepperPlate app for my meal planning.

1) Planner

The Planner portion of Pepperplate allows me to put the exact meal I'm planning for that day. When I'm ready to make dinner I can go check my pepperplate app and see what I've planned and then go over to my pinterest board to get the recipes needed.

2) Shopping List
I also use the shopping list on PepperPlate. It is the best grocery list I have found on an App. You put in the item you need and it sorts it for you in the category it belongs in. All you need is to take your phone in with you and you can mark off items as you go.

PepperPlate does have a few other features, but these are the 2 that I use on a weekly basis.

I would love to hear about other apps or methods you have for your weekly meal planning. Thanks so much for reading!


  1. We like the app called Yummly! You pick recipes on there and it automatically creates a grocery list for you! But my new FAVORITE way to plan meals is hello fresh. You don't even have to go to the grocery store! The ingredients are already all measured out and mailed to you! �� Very convenient; especially with a newborn!

  2. Love this! I didn't know they had an app for meal planning. I am going to add a link to your post when I blog about meal planning next week for Motivational Monday. You're awesome!

  3. Very cool! Personally I'm old school (ish) and just use Excel. May have to incorporate some of these ideas, though! :-)